According to multiple reports, Peyton Manning is in negotiations to become the Denver Broncos’ starting quarterback. Barring some sort of shocking, unexpected stumbling block during these discussions, it would appear as though this is a done deal.
The question on everyone’s minds now is: where do we go from here?
Over the last week the Francisco 49ers and Tennessee Titans both made hard, hard sells to the future first ballot Hall of Famer. Similarly, it was widely reported that if John Elway and the Broncos were able to lure in the free agent passer that they clearly coveted most, it would spell the end of Tim Tebow’s time as a Bronco.
Now that Manning is on the verge of signing on the dotted line the real fun can begin.
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The Niners probably find themselves in the messiest situation of anyone involved in the Manning Sweepstakes. Despite the fact that their presumed quarterback heading into next year, Alex Smith, was coming off the best run of his career, San Francisco was quick to ignore him for the chance to bring in someone new. What do they do now? Well, at the very least they’ll have to apologize to Smith in the form of far more money than they wanted to pay him initially. At the most, they lose him entirely.
Tennessee, meanwhile, dropped pretty much everything to chase Manning’s services. The Titans were rumored to be players in the hunt for Mario Williams and an assortment of other free agent superstars, but their pursuit of a 35-year-old with multiple neck procedures got priority over everything else. Now, Tennessee will have to proceed forward knowing that it not only missed out on a franchise quarterback, but also all of the other available free agents that were ignored as a byproduct of this whole mess.
Finally, the most interesting bit of fallout from Manning presumably playing for the Broncos next year is what happens to Tebow. After last season, John Elway made the youngster a promise that he would get a fair shot as the starter for this squad, So much for that. Tebow will likely be traded before the start of the regular season, now. The Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars appear to be likely destinations, particularly with Miami missing out on Matt Flynn (or choosing not to go with him) and Jacksonville in desperate need of a star. But as we learned with Denver ultimately nabbing Manning, never count out a longshot.